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Kayo Dot


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Kayo Dot Blasphemy album cover
3.83 | 76 ratings | 2 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ocean Cumulonimbus (3:59)
2. The Something Opal (5:43)
3. Lost Souls on Lonesome's Way (5:20)
4. Vanishing Act in Blinding Gray (8:07)
5. Turbine, Hook, and Haul (6:09)
6. Midnight Mystic Rise and Fall (5:33)
7. An Eye for a Lie (5:21)
8. Blasphemy: A Prophecy (4:13)

Total Time: 45:32

"Purity" bonus CD:

1. Ocean Opalescent (3:46)
2. Illegible X (2:04)
3. Lies in Lapis (3:36)
4. Voyage of the Avarice (5:31)
5. Oceanic Point of Inaccessibility (6:18)
6. Blasphemy (6:13)

Total Time : 27:28

Line-up / Musicians

- Toby Driver / guitar, bass, synths, vocals, percussion, electronics and production
- Ron Varod / guitar
- Leonardo Didkovsky / drums
- Phillip Price / drums
- Tim Byrnes / trumpet (5)
- Timm Mason / additional synth design
- Matthew Serra / remixes

Releases information

Label: Prophecy Productions
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
September 6, 2019
LP, CD Digipak, 2 CD book edition (hardcover, 18x18 cm, 48 pages with enhanced artwork, a full chapter of the novel that serves as the album's thematic basis, and feat. the 6-track bonus CD "Purity" with renditions of "Blasphemy" tracks by Wet Math) and ltd. box-set (LP on exclusive Clear vinyl, 2 CD art-book, three art prints, and a full map of the novel's universe)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to TCat for the last updates
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KAYO DOT Blasphemy ratings distribution

(76 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

KAYO DOT Blasphemy reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
5 stars Kayo Dot continues to be Toby Driver's musical project, and has been since it's formation since the band formed from many of his colleagues from his previous band "Maudlin of the Well". Some of that heavy, extreme metal carried over from that band, but Kayo Dot also took on a huge amount of experimental and post metal sound, and over the years and the course of several albums, that sound has adjusted as needed for each individual album. The music has ranged from the avant-prog-jazz-fusion sound of "Blue Lambency Downward" to the heavy black experimental metal sound of "Hubardo". All the while, however, Driver has retained this avant-prog mentality and has continually expanded his borders to include gothic-style rock and post- punk in some of his albums. All through this time, he has worked with different line-ups of musicians including John Zorn, Trey Spruance, Sunn O))), and many others.

Kayo Dot's album "Blasphemy" is the project's ninth full-length album, released in September of 2019. This album is based on an allegorical story by Jason Byron which surrounds three characters searching for treasure who end up being destroyed by the treasure for which they sought; a sleeping girl with terrible power that goes by the name of Blasphemy. The album is available on LP, CD Digipack, and Bandcamp. There is a 2x CD edition which includes a 6-track CD of remixes (done by Wet Math) from the album and a hardcover book with artwork and a chapter from the book that serves as the album's story. There is also a limited edition box set that includes the full LP on clear vinyl, the 2 CD artbook, 3 art prints and a map of the novel's universe.

Starting off with "Ocean Cumulonimbus" (3:59), the music begins with the gothic mentality, with echoing and jangly guitars, and soon Driver starts with clean vocals that seem to be pushing his emotional boundaries, at least with the clean vocals, but then they become heavier and start to push the clean vocal boundaries, but not quite getting to the screaming or growling style he sometime uses. The music continues going from softer to heavier vocals and the music becomes more symphony- like, moving away from that gothic beginning. "The Something Opal" (5:43) has a sound that seems a bit thicker as far as guitar and synth layers go. The vocals continue in the clean style, but are layered with gruffer vocals at times. The music is cinematic and a bit hazy giving it a psychedelic sound, with rolling drums and a nice balance of guitar and keys. The sound is nice and expansive with just that right touch of dreamy haziness. Driver's vocals are quite expressive, which is a nice surprise. After the lyrics end, the cinematic element continues, and then suddenly the vocals turn dirty as the music remains almost orchestral. It all ends with a short rolling drum solo.

"Lost Souls on Lonesome's Way" (5:20) mix in a bit of the goth sound again, this time more in the attitude in the vocals and the jangly and echoing guitars. As it continues, some pizzicato is added to the guitar giving it a bit of attitude, then the vocals go chant-like as the music softens to sustained notes and continued drumming. Then, threatening spoken word section comes in with synths in the background, and then the music gets a bit complex and dramatic with Driver singing in his higher register. This track is quite dynamic and changes often, but the changes are smooth, even when it slips into a nice guitar solo around the middle of it all. I love the way the track slips from one style to another while still sounding cohesive. "Vanishing Act in Blinding Gray" (8:07) begins quite atmospheric and soft, even Driver's vocals are mellow and pensive. The soft avant- jazz sound makes the track glide along in a peaceful manner, sort of in the style of "Blue Lambency Downward" but a bit more accessible and less abrasive. Just calm and smooth. Now, saying that this music is accessible is only on a comparative with other Kayo Dot music, it truly is not accessible in a traditional sense. The music intensifies later, by the way, and the complexity level moves up several notches. If this is your first time listening to Kayo Dot (and so far, this is a perfect entry level album as it sort of gives you a taste of all of their styles), you will now notice why they are considered avant-prog and art rock. Intensity continues to grow and Driver's vocals get heavier and more expressive even as it becomes somewhat narrative. Wow! This is a definite stand out track.

"Turbine, Hook and Haul" (6:09) starts off sounding quite lush with layers of synths, and a trumpet coming along in the middle, sounding a bit tortured, but controlled. The dreamy sound is very evident in this track, yet it remains softly complex as it stays away from falling into any singular or traditional melody. " Midnight Mystic Rise and Fall" (5:33) starts out a bit heavier, but with a thick and layered sound with a combination of synths and guitars. Between the previous track and this one, the melodies have fallen into what sounds like a more improvised singing style. This is actually fine because of the telling of the story. The theme in this track lies more in the instrumentation than it does in the vocals. The track also remains in the smooth and lush sound of the previous track, but, as I mentioned earlier, a bit heavier. It also intensifies later on with frantic vocals and some squealing feedback and it gets quite dramatic by the end.

"An Eye for a Lie" (5:21) features heavily processed and layered vocals swirled into thick synth and guitar layers. The real experimental side of Kayo Dot shows through here and it all sounds quite exploratory now. Now, if it's your first time hearing Kayo Dot, you have never heard anything like this. Everything, at this point, is totally unpredictable as the music flows and intensifies with the story. The lyrics are quite discernable in the beginning, but as Driver starts to abuse his voice a bit, this becomes totally indiscernible. It all quiets down again to the heavily processed sound as it ends. The last track is "Blasphemy: A Prophecy" (4:13), with the odd gothic feel again, with rolling drums and dreamy synths, but with expressive, mostly atonal vocals at first. This soon changes as the vocals follow the notes of the organ, and then as it builds, the combination of guitars and synth layers gives that orchestral feel again.

I haven't heard the remixes that come on the bonus CD, so I can't say whether they add to or take away from the entire experience, but the album proper is quite excellent. I have felt for quite some time that Kayo Dot is one of the most important avant-prog and experimental bands that is still quite relevant. At the first few listens, I tend to like the first two- thirds of the album the best, but I think with time, that the last part of the album will also grow on me. This always seems to be the case with many of the Kayo Dot albums. I do know the musicianship and the composition of the songs is outstanding and it lends itself to one of their best. I like all of Kayo Dot's albums to some extent, but this one feels really strong. It also tends to by more variant, and that is also a plus. As I mentioned before, I think this is one of their best albums to start on if you haven't heard them before. It give you a good overall picture of what to expect from the band, that is, the unexpected. Their sound is unique, and each album has it's own unique traits, but this one seems to encompass them all at one point or another, but the overall sound is mostly thick and layered, yet to a degree, maybe a bit more accessible than some others. Anyway, if you are totally confused now, I don't blame you. I just know I love it and it is definitely one of the best of the year.

Latest members reviews

5 stars 4.95 Stars. Avant-Prog at its most accessible Kayo Dot are a band that have been on a steady rise over the last decade. After hitting rock-bottom in 2012 where they had to produce Gamma Knife on a budget of $0, they have slowly gone up the ranks by getting signed to the Flesher Label, and now th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2263457) | Posted by LakeGlade12 | Wednesday, September 25, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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